Virginia Elizabeth Hayes
The sign-in nurse smiled. “How are we today?”
Ah, I thought, we’re using the Medical We. It is the language of the flock, where there is safety in numbers. “We’re here for my results.”
She pointed me to the familiar exam-room. “We’ll be there in a minute.”
We, I thought, entering the room, will wait. I looked at the clock. Eleven minutes later, my doctor came in. He looked directly at the linoleum at his feet. “I have your results.”
I shifted under the sound of two singulars in a row. I and You.
Ah, I thought. The language of isolation. The sides of the fence have been chosen. I am now alone.
He exhaled painfully, but did not speak. For the first time since we met, I felt the oddest impulse to comfort him. I stood, stepping into his line of sight. “The results say: my cancer is back.”
“Your cancer,” he said to the floor, “is back.”
The singular penetrated. My cancer is back. In me. Alone. My cancer is back.
I blinked against the deafening tick of the clock. “Now what?”
“Now?” He lifted his head, meeting my eyes. “We fight.”
I nodded. “We fight.”
About the Author: The ninth daughter of a surgeon who accidentally cut off the tip of his index finger, Virginia Elizabeth Hayes developed a keen eye for the absurd at an early age. International and North American sales include Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Empowered Woman, Driftwood Press, The Filling Station, Devolution Z and Lunch Ticket. Her novels, short stories, novellas can be found on Amazon KDP, as well as her memoir cartoons: The Princeling Papers: or, How to Fight Cancer with Colored-Pencils and Kittens.